Friday, March 4, 2011

ChaserCon Forecasting Class, an Oscar-winning Storm Chaser, & New Book on the 1966 Topeka Tornado

Wow... tonight it has already been 2 weeks since I taught a tornado forecasting class for the first time at the National Storm Chaser Convention (ChaserCon) in Denver (see pic of me above). It was fun to do, well-received and well-attended (110 people), and I've had several attendees ask about access to some of my Powerpoint slides. I've managed to whittle down the presentation and put a subset of the slides online. If you were one of the people who paid to take my class, send me an e-mail at, and I'll direct you to the URL address where you can find these.

On another subject, Bill and Anna Stromberg are good friends who work in the film music business in the LA area, and they love to storm chase. Amazingly, Bill's brother, production/art designer Robert Stromberg, won his 2nd Oscar in a row last Sunday night for his work on last year's Alice in Wonderland ! Bill and Anna's storm chasing bug has caught Robert a bit, who was kind enough to share his photos through Bill on this blog last November when he was the only one to document what looked to be a rare morning tornado near Bakersfield CA. Go back and check those pics out here. Congratulations on your Oscar win, Robert!

Last but not least, on Wednesday night 3/2/11, our Kansas City AMS chapter had author Bonar Menninger as a guest speaker on his new book about the deadly 1966 Topeka tornado, And Hell Followed With It (see image above). This is an awesome account of a seminal tornado event that was the first $100 million tornado, grabbing a nation's attention. It was also one of the first events to take full advantage of a relatively new tornado warning system in our nation. Menninger's book relates some searing experiences of people whose lives were literally turned upside down by this tornado. It's important for storm chasers and weather enthusiasts to be reminded how terribly serious and gut-wrenching some weather events can be... weather is not all "fun". This book does that very effectively. Topeka storm chaser and friend Rick Schmidt helped provide some photos for the book taken in 1966 by his father, Topeka Daily Capital photographer Delmar Schmidt. It is a gripping read and an important book documenting a key weather event! I strongly recommend it. Check out the web site at

- Jon Davies 3/4/11

1 comment:

Rodney Price said...


"Gripping read" indeed. I'm about halfway through the book right now. A great story about such a devastating tornado.